Dear Friend and Reader:
We are now in one of those clusters of astrological events, a wholly unique pattern that’s worth a close look. Under this astrology there are a number of critical situations developing in the world, including countries aligning to go to war in the Middle East, a lot of intense flooding and fires, and today’s independence vote for Scotland.
There remains a controversy whether the work of Andy Warhol, who had Mars square Neptune, was really art. His portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) sure looks like it.
On an individual level, this is astrology that’s likely to influence thoughts, emotions and the subtler levels (sometimes called psychic, astral, etheric, etc.). So the influences may be coming in a diversity of ways. And the season is about to change, which requires a conscious adjustment, both physical and emotional.
When several events are happening concurrently, it’s helpful to look at them one at a time and discern their individual influences, then to consider them as one process.
The current dominant aspect is Mars square Neptune, which will be exact Sunday shortly before midnight EDT (Monday at 04:00 UTC). This can come with a diversity of feelings, including a sense of one’s strength being sapped, strange physical symptoms with no apparent cause, unfamiliar emotions, burning fear or the sensation of loss of control.
Dream activity could be intense and strange — and worth taking note of, because dream symbols are likely to be more honest than ‘waking world’ symbols, as the element of denial is not as prevalent. Still, I suggest you pay attention to ‘the signs’ without allowing your superstition to get away from you.
Looked at one way, Mars and Neptune are two challenging planets to get working together. This is sometimes attributed to their natures being so different, though that is also true of a spark and gasoline vapor. That can be an excellent combination or it can be a problem — it depends on the circumstances.
Knowing What is Real and What is Not
Mars in Sagittarius is a fiery influence; Neptune in Pisces is a gaseous combination, which has the potential to burn like fuel. This can be vividly creative — or it can be toxic. The square aspect adds internal pressure, which also means additional heat. The combination can lead people to feel, say and do strange things, though Neptune’s presence tends to obscure any objective point of reference. Neither is Mars in Sagittarius the picture of objectivity, so taken together there is a real need for perspective.
Is it real or is it not? Carlos Castaneda had Mars square Neptune, so it’s questionable.
I would say that of all the possible considerations involving Mars and Neptune in a square aspect, knowing what is real and what is not is the most pressing concern. This can be challenging enough when aspects are practical and point to what can be documented.
With Mars square Neptune there is the potential for self-deception and paranoia. This can be made worse by the abuse of substances, which can exacerbate self-destructive tendencies, as everyone has personally experienced or witnessed to some degree.
Under this astrology, all toxins need to be guarded against carefully, including over-the-counter meds, prescription meds, household products, street drugs, foods, allergens and any form of emotional toxicity. It’s also necessary to reality check, which is to say, use some objective reference, another person, past experience or logic to assess your thoughts and experiences.
Sometimes looking at the chart database can be helpful in understanding an aspect and how it manifests. Note, this is always subjective, since there are so many manifestations of every aspect. However, I can give two examples of writers you may be familiar with, both of whom had Mars square Neptune in their natal charts. One is Carlos Castaneda, one of the most famous (and bestselling) New Age writers ever. He wrote many works that seemed to bring in real wisdom, though there is considerable evidence that his first book, The Teachings of Don Juan, was a plagiarized composite of many other works.
We have no way of knowing what in the subsequent books of the series was actually true (that is, not fabricated), whether there really was a Don Juan or to what extent he was accurately portrayed. Because the books were so popular, influenced so many people and made so much money, we get into the territory of, “Well, does it really matter if they were true?” This is where Mars square Neptune can be dangerous.
George Orwell had Mars square Neptune. He was a journalist and fiction writer — and he knew the difference.
George Orwell (born Eric Arthur Blair) was a journalist and a fiction writer, though he had the ability to distinguish the two genres. He was able to harness the power of this aspect and write highly plausible works of fiction that we can now see were visionary. He was able to keep his sense of humor even in chillingly paranoid moments of 1984, one of the most dystopian novels ever written.
Orwell was able to use fiction as a way to get people to suspend disbelief and actually consider the truth, another way he worked the boundary between what is true and not true. He introduced ideas in the political realm that probably would never have been taken seriously if presented as nonfiction.
OK, those are my main two examples, for contrast of two expressions of Mars square Neptune.
Then there was H. G. Wells, a pioneering science fiction writer, who gave us visions that modern film directors and writers are still plundering. Andy Warhol walked the fact vs. fiction line, stirring up the question, “Is this art, graphic art or bullshit?” He would also take press service photos (supposedly ‘the truth’) and make them into art (supposedly ‘fiction’). Jack Webb walked the line with his many cop shows that were “based on real events.” Of course that left everyone wondering just how realistic the portrayals were.
Barbara Streisand cultivated fantastic talent and has moved many people, as has Diana Ross. Karen Silkwood did not do so well. Jacqueline Susann took up the substance abuse issue inherent in Mars square Neptune in her first novel, Valley of the Dolls.
So, in all, we get a powerful combination of energies that needs to be handled carefully and consciously, with discernment and with a bit of levity. There’s a need to keep asking yourself what is true and what is something other than true — or perhaps, rather, what you need to take notice of, whatever its source. There is a need for caution here about what you want to be true, versus what you are daring to envision and allow to become true.
Equinox and the New Moon
Once the Mars-Neptune square begins separating early Monday morning, we’ve arrived at the Libra equinox. That is the Sun’s ingress into Libra, which is exact Monday at 10:29 pm EDT (Tuesday at 02:29 UTC). The Sun will be halfway through the seasons, and something called sidereal time will reach 12 noon.
Equinox occurs when the Sun is at a 90-degree angle to the equator. This happens twice a year, the day that the Sun ingresses Aries (the vernal equinox) and when the Sun ingresses Libra (the autumnal equinox). Day and night are of equal length all over the world, a symbol of all of humanity and all living things experiencing something, anything at all, in common within their environment.
The Sun will be conjunct the point Makemake, which is in the first degree of Libra. It was discovered in 2005 and has a 309-year orbit around our Sun, making it what’s called a classical Kuiper object or Cubewano (object similar to 1992 QB1). It is one of five named dwarf planets, all of them orbiting our Sun (Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Haumea, Makemake). It’s one of the larger objects in the Kuiper belt, and it is unusual in that it has no satellite or binary object with which it co-orbits.
Symbolic (or perhaps real) representation of the Earth at equinox. The Sun’s rays make a right angle to the equator.
I have not been able to get a clear signal on Makemake yet; perhaps this equinox astrology will help.
However, I have a concept I am working with, which is “the mystery of how things got to be the way they are, but which we take for granted and may never know.”
I think there is also something about the relationship between individuals and groups, and between the ideas and thoughts of an individual and what is sometimes called groupthink. I also see an element of spiritual isolation, that is, the sense of feeling disconnected from a spiritual source, or the loneliness inherent in some phases of personal evolution. In other words, there are phases of a journey of awakening that must by their nature be deeply internal and solitary, and to some degree not easily communicated to others.
As the Sun ingresses Libra and conjoins Makemake, the Moon is in Virgo. It ingresses Libra just before midnight EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 23 (3:59 Wednesday UTC). The Moon and Sun make a conjunction at 2:14 am EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 24 (6:14 UTC), the Libra New Moon, which is Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). Because this happens so close to the first degree of Libra (opposite the first degree of Aries), this is an Aries Point event — an intersection of the individual and the collective.
We are in a phase of the New Moon happening close to the Sun’s ingress into a new sign. The next time that happens will be a solar eclipse on Oct. 23. Between then and now will be a total lunar eclipse on Oct. 8. I plan to have a writeup on these eclipses and the forthcoming Mercury retrograde with the monthly horoscope one week from now.
Summing All of this Up
I think that Mars square Neptune is a call to reality, happening in advance of the change of season and an influential New Moon. I get the feeling that some element of denial or misinformation will clear just in time for the actual change of seasons. These denial elements are often some of the strongest bonds to the past that we have; the internal foggy spots that prevent forward progress.
This seems like a time to sort out your priorities, get clear about what you want, make amends with anyone you may have hurt and get ready for the surge of new energy that is inherent in the Sun ingressing a cardinal sign and a new season of your life.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $99/year. Core community membership: $199/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Copy Editor: Jessica Keet. Research, Writing and Editing: Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Brendan Merritt, Amy Elliott, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Amanda Painter, Casey Smith, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward.
The Power of Choosing Your Path
By Amanda Painter
“If you’re raised on dogma and hate, can you choose a different path?” asks the TED website. It would be easy to assume, in our fear, that it’s impossible to do so.
It is not.
In this TED Talk from March of this year, Zak Ebrahim — son of one of the men responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center — describes how much more powerful experiences of empathy were in his young life, compared to his father’s radical extremism.
“So why would I out myself, and potentially put myself in danger?” asks Ebrahim, after recounting that his family had separated from his father and he had taken on a new name. “Well, that’s simple. I do it in the hopes that perhaps someone, someday, who is compelled to use violence will hear my story, and realize that there is a better way.”
In 2014 Ebrahim published the TED Book The Terrorist’s Son, a memoir written with Jeff Giles about his path.
Mars in Sagittarius, Equinox & Living With War
In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I look at Mars in Sagittarius, as well as the Libra equinox and New Moon — and then consider the chart of Barack Obama’s speech last week declaring a new war in the Middle East.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscopes for September published Friday, Aug. 28. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for August Thursday, July 24. We also published your Inner Space horoscope for September Tuesday, Sept. 2. Moonshine horoscopes for the Pisces Full Moon published Sunday, Sept. 7. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Weekly Horoscope for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, #1016 | By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19) — What do you create in your relationships? That is, what exactly do you make with your partner? Do you make food? Do you make great sex? Do you make art or music? Do you make a work product of some kind? Do you make babies? Or do you make something a little less pleasant, such as jealousy or stress? Consider the idea that every partnership has a creative product of some kind. Usually, the thing or the feeling that is created is wholly intentional. It’s not an accident when something is made; it does not merely happen. As the Sun ingresses your opposite sign Libra, you are being invited to consider what, exactly, you want to create with the people around you — remembering that it’s going to be something. This is especially true if it’s a sexual relationship, which is a pairing powerful enough to create another life. Just remember that all sexual relationships are procreative.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You don’t need to try so hard. I don’t mean to suggest you not try at all, though there is something that you might call efforting, which is the sensation of putting out too much energy to get a particular thing done. What you’re doing wants to be done and will cooperate with you. Collaboration will help, though it must be the right collaboration, probably not a whole committee but rather one or two people you really trust to assist you with specific tasks, or with handling specific individuals. Meanwhile, monitor your involvement with the details. You don’t need to clean them all up at once. Go through your project in layers; make an improvement, move onto something else, then come back to what you were working on before. This will keep the work interesting and make sure you don’t burn out on any one aspect of what you’re doing.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You may be so connected to your creative source that you’re feeling overwhelmed. Please don’t let this stop you from exploring an idea, a creative project or a relationship experience. You don’t need to get it (or anything) absolutely right the first time; you only need to be sincere. You will get a few other opportunities to revise what you’re doing, and you’re unlikely to lose contact with your original inspiration for long. Give yourself the time and space for creative activities for the next month or two, and take a creative approach to everything you do. My definition of ‘creative’ means taking some risk, which you will feel in your body as well as your mind. You don’t need to strive for ‘pure originality’ but rather consciously approach everything from your own angle or point of view. Originality is grossly overrated and misunderstood. It often works very well to take something from one context and apply it to another, like the Yellow Submarine lunchbox.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Your genetic lineage contains many interesting things. You don’t know what they all are. You are aware of some, which you may think you understand. The existence of others has not been explained, and you may be living with them from day-to-day without noticing there’s something unusual in your environment or your emotional body. In fact these things may have been around so long and are such a dominant part of your landscape that they disappear into the background. They may include certain physical objects that ‘don’t belong’ in your environment or that you’re ‘not supposed to have’ — but which call for careful review and analysis, so that you can understand your own life and how you came to be the way you are. You are entitled to do this for one reason: you are under no obligations to keep any secrets from yourself, and anything you possess or live with can correctly be called part of you.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Presentation counts for everything right now. The details matter less. You must be aware of them, but don’t bog down your message with too much information. You might be inclined to do this in the spirit of integrity, though your integrity will shine through. Therefore, focus on appeal, and on your ability to translate into a language that many people understand. Make sure you convey some excitement about what you’re creating, and your sense of adventure. Whether you’re involved in a business project or directing your energy into a personal relationship, the approach is the same. Know that any encounter or enterprise has the ability to take you to a depth that you’re not expecting. This could be depth of contact, commitment, or expressing your passion in a tangible way. If you encounter resistance, persist gently. Rather than sailing directly into the wind and current, take a diagonal route (in sailing terms, tack a few times) and keep your destination in mind as you do.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Use your power of attraction; use it consciously, though at the moment this is your greatest advantage. If you usually try to maintain a neutral appearance or drop below the radar, I suggest you polarize consciously in the direction of beauty and allow yourself to be more visible than usual. You know that your ongoing self-critique is no longer working for you, if it ever did. This may be a difficult habit to break, however, you’re likely to figure out that it’s more toxic now than ever. In the past you could exist more or less peacefully in a state of not wholly approving of who you are. However, the circumstances of your life and of your evolutionary journey are such that you can no longer do this. Your entire purpose must surround your quest for self-respect, which you then extend into relationship to others, in the spirit of recognizing some aspect of yourself in everyone.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — It’s time to refine (and apply) your political skills, which are your social skills, though a special kind. By political I mean your ability to negotiate, as well as to work within an organizational structure, or within a power structure, to be helpful and also to get a positive result. This is no minor skill in a world where so much is decided on the basis of how well people get along, and who has the informal influence. Politics, properly understood, goes beyond the level of formal social roles. It’s all about how people relate to one another as people, establish the pecking order, exchange favors and exchange resources. Politics is about how people motivate one another and get something done. Other factors in your chart describe you as a bull in a china shop, for whom the notion of diplomacy might be entirely repugnant. Don’t go there — you will lose. Relate to people in a way that you both understand, and never count yourself out of the game.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You know more than you think you know, though it would help immensely if you let go of your attachment to what you know is not true. That would be a long list of things, stories, behaviors, tendencies, goals you’re not really interested in — and the ways you can get dragged into the self-deception of others. The less emphasis you put on all that is untrue, the more energy you will have to focus on what is life-affirming and creative. This may have a daring quality, or the sensation that you’re ‘doing something wrong’ by doing what you want. Alternately, that list of what is untrue may feel comfortable and normal, and if you notice that, I suggest you think it through and ask yourself why exactly that is. There is a reason, and if you understand the reason you will go a long way toward liberating yourself from that whole dimension of drama.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — An interesting mix of energies in your solar chart casts you in two different roles — the agent provocateur, and the perfect diplomat. That adds up to subversive. Being a successful subversive is a skill, and you can go a long way to mastering that skill over the next few days. The thing to remember is that people trust you, and they look to you as an example. The less you say about certain topics the better you will be able to convey your real meaning. Listen for the ways in which people are already likely to agree with you, and take that as your lead. Tap into the ideas and motives of others. This will help you avoid evangelizing, or seeming like you have an agenda. In order to do this with any integrity, you must be clear about what you want to achieve and why. Be real with yourself. Do not make excuses.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You have a moment when you can really shine — whether that means advancing in your profession, initiating a new business or project, or raising your public profile in some significant way. This window begins Monday night (at the equinox, which is Sept. 22 at 10:29 pm EDT), though you may be getting manifestations earlier. I suggest however that you not make any serious moves until the Sun ingresses Libra (that is the equinox). In fact, you would be wise to consider your options until the Moon ingresses Libra just before midnight (EDT) on the 23rd, and extend that window through the New Moon on the 24th. (The opening lasts a while after that, but the New Moon is the main threshold.) Remember that you will be more visible during this phase, and the best thing you can do is put yourself in the right place at the right time (rather than trying to be everywhere all at once). Visibility means accountability. Be alert.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You seem to be seeking a way to get out of the feeling of so much responsibility. It seems like you can handle the pressure, if you get a little time away from it. I suggest the thing you need is a different philosophical approach. You can begin with the idea that you will do what you’re committed to, and at the same time remember that you have other goals. The way to avoid competition between them is to use time more consciously — in other words, remember your long-term objectives and make sure that you put at least a little energy into them on a regular basis, without delaying them to the future. And remember your immediate needs, making sure that you put some energy into them every day. There is one last layer — that which you want to do but are not prepared to act on yet. Keep that list handy, and attach an action date to commencing that is within 12 months from today.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You may be a source of controversy; you may step on a few toes; you may leave some people wondering; you may get some sincere accolades — and if you persist at whatever you are doing, you will succeed. As for the responses and reactions of others, remember how easy it is for people to talk shit. Critiques may be helpful — take them under advisement rather than eating them for a meal. Praise is cool, just don’t let it distract you. Stay on mission. Let nothing, and I mean nothing, eat at your confidence. Keep going. If you get fatigued (which is possible, given the late Virgo Sun, and Mars square Neptune this weekend) refresh yourself with music or time outside, and keep going. You may have many ideas pouring forth from your mind — just write them down and do not evaluate how you feel about them. Just keep going.